Thursday, March 23, 2006

Alan Thicke Goes from Sitcom Dad to Cooking Host?; Live Action 'Simpsons' Opening; Name Your Baby After a 'Scrub'

NBC's Celebrity Cooking Showdown, from Reveille and Sean "Diddy" Combs, has revealed its celebrity participants in the week-long cooking competition series premiering April 17-21 (8-9 p.m. ET each night) and has announced the series will be hosted by television favorite Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) and celebrity cook/author Sandra Lee (Food Network's Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee).
Celebrity participants facing off in the kitchen include: supermodel Naomi Campbell, Allison Sweeney (NBC's Days of our Lives), Big Kenny (country music's superstar duo, Big and Rich), comedic actor Tom Arnold, football star Tony Gonzales (Kansas City Chiefs), rapper/actor Ja Rule (Assault on Precinct 13), professional volleyball player/model Gabrielle Reese, musician/reality star Ashley Parker Angel (MTV's There and Back) and the reigning Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley. The format of each night's show will evolve as the week progresses. On Monday-Wednesday (April 17-19), three different celebrities will compete each night. On Thursday, April 20, the three winners from each night will advance to don aprons for the final cook-off. Viewers will then have the chance to vote via phone and online based solely on presentation. Meanwhile, the in-studio judges (event planner Colin Cowie (Everyday Elegance) and New York magazine restaurant critic Gael Greene) will be responsible for matters of taste. On the week's final episode on Friday, April 21, the results will be in, the winner declared and the audience will get to see the professional chefs in action. Then the tables will be turned in the "Chef's Challenge," while choice unseen moments from the week's competition are revealed. Wow, I hope NBC thinks this is actually going to work because the celeb participants are so C rated. It might be a surprise hit maybe like Deal or No Deal, but we shall see.

Have you ever wondered what Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie would look like in real life? Find out when a live-action main title sequence is unveiled on The Simpsons Sunday, March 26 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX.
The live-action show opening is an homage to television's longest-running sitcom. From the Simpsons parting through the clouds to the infamous Bart writing on the chalkboard, Homer pulling the nuclear rod out of his shirt, Maggie scanned at the supermarket and the always-anticipated "couch gag" conclusion, the live-action opening mirrors each element of the animated sequence. The greatest attention to detail was paid in this recreation by a British team, as conceived and commissioned by the UK network Sky One. From wardrobe to location settings to character mannerisms, it's all translated with uncanny accuracy via real, flesh-and-blood actors. The centerpiece of Sky One's new Simpsons campaign in the UK, the short will make its American debut in the all-new episode, "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife," guest-starring yet another British import, Ricky Gervais. In the episode, Homer's obsession with Lenny's new plasma TV causes Marge to enter the family in a sweepstakes, where they win a prize to the Fox studio lot. Against Marge's judgment, Homer signs the family up for a Wife Swap/Trading Spouses-type show and is forced to take in a controlling wife, while Marge moves in with a beaten-down husband, Charlie (guest star Gervais), and his perfect son. Charlie quickly develops a crush on Marge, while she's just trying to give him the strength to stand up to his own wife.
[NOTE: The live-action opening will not air on Canadian broadcasts of the episode.]

To celebrate Turk (Donald Faison) and Carla’s (Judy Reyes) long-awaited discovery that she has conceived in a hilarious all-new episode, NBC.com will launch a special contest on the official Scrubs area of the site asking viewers to choose the name and sex of Turk and Carla’s baby for the show’s producers, on Tuesday, March 28. The off-kilter comedy Scrubs airs Tuesdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET.
Viewers will be able to submit their suggested baby name online until the series’ May finale. Then, one winner will be randomly chosen to have a Scrubs character named after him or her. Plus, 10 randomly selected runners-up will receive surprise Scrubs items from the show. The winner and 10 runners-up, along with the baby’s name and sex, will be announced at a later date.
This special episode will air as follows (all times are ET/PT):

Tuesday, March 28
9:00-9:30 p.m. – “My Bright Idea” (all-new episode) -- Turk (Donald Faison) accidentally learns that Carla (Judy Reyes) is pregnant before she does, so J.D. (Zach Braff) convinces Turk to tell the entire hospital staff so they can all surprise Carla with the joyous news. But when Carla confides to Turk that she can’t wait for the day when she can personally share her baby news with the world, Turk and J.D. have to quickly figure out how to contain hospital gossip until Carla can make the discovery on her own. Meanwhile, J.D. tricks the Janitor (Neil Flynn) into swallowing a tiny GPS tacking device. Later, when Elliott (Sarah Chalke) puts Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) into an embarrassing situation, he decides to get even with Elliott through Keith (Travis Schuldt) and Carla.

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